Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Rachael Arnone of Bachestinks

Monday, June 17, 2013

We're so excited to introduce you to the creative and innovative designer Rachael Arnone of Bachestinks.  She takes the old and makes it way better than brand new!  You'll want to stop by and check out her fantastic kitchen"wear" line at Arts on the Square!

Hello Rachael!

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.

Bachestinks is a line of products handmade by myself from vintage, recycled and found materials. There are two divisions, I guess you could say. There is what I call "Kitchenwear"' which includes, but is not limited to, aprons, pot holders, table runners, placemats, market totes etc.  Then there is the clothing and accessories which is mostly comprised of skirts, totes and custom work I've done including christening gowns, baby blankets and items made from customer submitted materials. 

I was tired of standing around at work (I worked retail) and seeing all these goods come into the store and thinking "I could be at home making this stuff!"  So I told them when I pay off my student loans I'm retiring. Done working for the man. (They didn't believe me!)  So I was diligent, got them paid off early (yay!), had a chat with the husband, and quit my job this past January to pursue bachestinks full time. I had been hitting craft shows here and there the previous year, so I had a good idea of what I was getting into and what I could expect to get out of it.

I currently sell my goods at local craft shows and the Wayne County Famers Market on Saturday mornings in Honesdale, which I am so excited to be a member of. Part of the reason I retired was so the husband and I could try our hand at homesteading, and meeting a great group of farmers who can survive on what they grow in their fields is inspiring.  I don't have a website yet, but hope that will come within this year. For now I post on the FB what I'm making and where I'll be!   

How did you learn your craft?  Do you have formal training?

I learned the basics of a sewing machine in home ec class in the 5th grade. I guess I just stored those basics for use almost 20 years later!!

What kind of materials do you use to make your products?  How long does each piece take to make?

I use vintage, recycled and found materials for my products. I will sew with whatever I can get my hands on really. I use anything from old tablecloths and drapes to most recently leftover feed sacks that the feed mill won't take back. Belts work great for tote bag straps, and doilies and fabric napkins make for pretty pockets on aprons.  The majority of my materials are second hand. The only things I buy new are thread, and some hardware, like snaps. Everything else I picked up here and there!

The time for each piece varies.  Usually the first time I make something it takes what seems like forever, figuring out this and that. But once I've got a good pattern and method, they start to materialize much faster. If a single product takes too long (more than an hour or two) I most likely won't continue with it in the future unless it’s a custom order. People generally know what they're getting into when they order a custom piece and are willing to pay for the time it takes to make something great. 

How would you describe your style & where do you find inspiration?

My style is simple and homemade. Getting back to the basics. Taking leftovers and putting them to good use. Do not waste one scrap of fabric. I meet a lot of women while I'm here and there at shows and they talk about their mothers and grandmothers making their dresses from empty flour sacks and filling pincushions with used coffee grounds. These women inspire me. I want to do that!! :)

It’s funny to me what triggers me to want to get behind that sewing machine. Seeing clothes drying on the line, old textiles, other people's workspaces. Sometimes I'll be flipping through the new Martha magazine and I'll get ten pages in, see someone wearing an apron, drop the magazine and go sew one! 

What items will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival?

"Kitchenwear"  Aprons and accessories for your home: pot holders, tomato pincushions, table runners, market totes, clothespin satchels etc. I'll also have some flag banners I've been working on.  I have no idea why, but I am totally in love with them haha!!

What is your most popular item?
I think it's a tie between aprons and totes! 

What are your can’t live without craft room essentials?
Well there are the sewing necessities like thread, needles, bobbins and all that crap. Although most use and recommend invisible ink and chalk for marking fabric, I use a sharpie and will never part with it, ever!  Fabric also seems like an obvious one, but if I don't have a mountain of fabric, spilling all over the floor and kind of out the door of the sweatshop, it still isn't enough! The iron is my best friend.  So is my unsweetened iced tea. Oh and Bruno (meow!). He makes sure I don't dilly dally too much. 

How do you make your workplace an inspiring place to be?
Good (loud) music, piles of magazines and LOTS and LOTS of fabric. It’s pretty cluttered, but As Reba says, I know exactly where everything is!

Is there any other information you would like us to share/highlight about you or your work?

I love what I do and I am grateful everyday that I can do what I love. The husband and I have definitely had to make some financial adjustments, but so far it’s been worth it! People always say follow your dreams and do what truly makes you happy. And I am gonna say, for serious, just do it already! Don't be afraid. :)

Follow Bachestinks:
Location: Honesdale

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